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Projects : Golden Gate Bridge Exhibition Project : Exhibits

What is a Rivet?

Millions of rivets, rather than bolts, were primarily used to connect the thousands of pieces of steel together to make the Golden Gate Bridge. This exhibit explains how a rivet initially looks like a bolt with a head on one end. It is heated red-hot, inserted through the holes the pieces of steel to be connected, then pounded to form a mushroom-head on the shaft, permanently clamping the pieces together. As the steel cooled, it shrank and the connection tightened up.

STATUS: This exhibit was eventually combined with the Bridge Towers exhibit and is currently installed near the Battery Exhibit area.

[read more about this exhibit]

Original concept for this exhibit.

Design by Reitherman

Sample of an actual rivet from the Golden Gate Bridge. The original plan was to also include a rivet sample on this exhibit.
Since theft and vandalism were of concern, a sample rivet would be fabricated for display. The example would show how a rivet is used to fasten two pieces of metal together.
A modified version showing the cross-section of the rivet connection.
The current Bridge Towers exhibit shown with the attached rivet cross-sections.

Exhibit currently installed near the Battery Exhibit area.


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Funding support provided by:
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The National Science Foundation

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Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering
last updated 07.25.12